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Off-Road | 11/19/2012
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Taylor Robert Wraps up the AMA EnduroCross Series Third Overall
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Taylor Robert Wraps up the AMA EnduroCross Series Third Overall
Irvine, Calif. (November 18, 2012) – The AMA EnduroCross series came to an exciting close at The Orleans in Las Vegas, Nev., on Saturday night with a double main event finale. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Taylor Robert completed the season on the podium finishing third overall in the championship standings. He won his Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) to transfer to the main events and finished 12th and eighth in the dual main events. Justin Soulé transferred to the main events on his KX™250F after finishing second in his heat race. He stayed consistent in the main events finishing fifth and sixth, and climbed to sixth in the points standings. Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Bobby Garrison posted competitive times throughout the evening and barely missed transferring to the main events.
Progress
With three podiums this season, Robert came into the final round confident to finish strong. He was edged out of qualifying through his heat race, but came out swinging in the LCQ to take the win. In the first main event of the night, Robert got a great jump on his KX250F and came around the first corner within the top-five before disaster struck. He jumped into the log matrix and as he went to jump out, his chain snapped and ended his race. Unfazed, Robert lined up for the second main event and this time got a decent start from the back row. He briefly battled for a podium position until the rock pile began to swallow riders and he crossed the finish line in eighth. Despite not finishing the first main event, Robert was able to collect enough points to finish third overall in the championship standings.

“The rock pile was what bit me all night,” said Robert. “I felt the best all night in the LCQ, I was really hitting my lines and was ready to carry that into the main, but first lap I snapped my chain and went over the bars. I’m really happy with third overall in the championship and know that I just need to work on my consistency. This is only my second year racing EnduroCross, so I think with more experience I can be up front.”
Full Dedication
Although Soulé was forced to miss a few rounds of the series due to injury, that never deterred the amount of heart and dedication he put into his training and racing. After posting one of his best qualifying results, placing fourth fastest in the hot laps, he got a great start in his heat race and battled all race to take second and transfer directly to the main events. In the first main event, Soulé exchanged positions in the top-five throughout the entire 10 laps and crossed the line in fifth. In the second main event, he was pushed wide in the first turn and went to work on the field. He made his way to sixth by the checkered flag despite some mistakes along the way. His finishes gave him enough points to finish sixth in the championship standings.

“I felt really good tonight,” said Soulé. “I was in striking distance of a podium in the first main event and rode my best. In the second main though, I bent my front brake rotor in the rocks so every time I jumped in the air my front wheel would lock up and drop my front end, which was a little rough. If you didn’t get the start and get through the rocks clean, you would get bottled-up with everyone else. But ‘Quit’ is never in my vocabulary.”
Love/Hate Relationship
Returning from injury at the last round, Garrison knew he still had some work to do in order to get up to the pace of the leaders. The treacherous rock section robbed him of a fast time in the hot lap qualifying, although he made improvements as the night progressed. In the heat race he pulled a massive holeshot from the outside on his KX250F and led the first lap. Unfortunately a tip-over forced him to the LCQ where he was unable to transfer to the main event, ending his night.

“I have a love/hate relationship with EnduroCross,” said Garrison. “I want EnduroCross to be my best discipline of racing even though it’s the most challenging for me. I love the challenge and know I need to improve. I need to get my speed higher because right now I’m pushing so much to keep their pace that it’s hard to stay consistent.”
The Rock Pile
As the season has wound down, the rock sections have progressively gotten more difficult, climaxing at the finale. Saturday night’s rock section featured a rock turn, which carried on into a rock pile, eliminating the riders’ momentum. Following the hot laps, the riders were given an opportunity to pick up some of the smaller rocks from the corner and place them in the larger holes between the boulders. Despite their efforts, riders had to paddle and manhandle their machines through the section. As the night carried on, water from the water hole as well as oil from riders’ bikes made the rocks very slippery and nearly impossible to navigate mistake-free.
Getting Aggressive
As the night went on and the track at The Orleans developed, there were limited passing opportunities aside from the rock pile. In a battle to transfer to the main events, Soulé was forced to make some aggressive passes. While making the pass for second, he and another rider came together and both went down in the rock pile. Racing to get to their feet, Soulé remounted in third and was determined to transfer to the mains. On the last lap he came inside of the second-place rider and took him to the top of the berm to make the pass and sealed the deal in the water hole by jumping to the inside and taking the faster, outside line away from his competition.
Mastering the Art
EnduroCross features many extremely technical obstacles that many of the best racers in the world would not consider tackling. Bike control is crucial and in addition to practicing on their 250cc bikes, many riders choose to ride trials bikes as well. Riders with trials backgrounds tend to excel, as many obstacles require different balancing skills than typical motocross.

“I’ve been riding my trials bike a lot,” said Robert. “I just try to work on my all-round skills and improve in all areas. The nastier and more technical the track is, the trials riders skills really show, so riding trials helps to bridge that gap.”
X Games
After a successful season, the EnduroCross series is looking to continue to grow in 2013. For the past two years EnduroCross has one of the most watched events at X Games Los Angeles and with X Games recent international growth, EnduroCross is looking to grow as well. If EnduroCross travels to the international X Games, the top riders including Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Soulé, Robert, Garrison, and Destry Abbott will be invited to compete in X Games Spain, Germany, Los Angeles and Brazil starting on April 18, 2013.
Results
AMA EnduroCross Series
The Orleans – Las Vegas, Nev.
November 17, 2012

EX Pro Main Event 1 Results

1. Taddy Blazusiak, Poland, KTM
2. Cody Webb, Watsonville, Calif., Beta
3. Mike Brown, Bluff City, Tenn., KTM
4. Geoff Aaron, Bailey, Colo., Honda
5. JUSTIN SOULE, VICTORVILLE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI
6. COLTON HAAKER, GILROY, CALIF., KAWASAKI

7. Cory Graffunder, Vavenby, B.C., Husqvarna
8. Kyle Redmond, Lake Hughes, Calif., Hussqvarna
9. Max Gerston, Scottsdale, Ariz., Beta
10. Jamie Lanza, Calimesa, Calif., Honda
11. Kevin Rookstool, Klamfath Falls, Ore., Honda
12. TAYLOR ROBERT, SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI

EX Pro Main Event 2 Results

1. Taddy Blazusiak, Poland, KTM
2. Cody Webb, Watsonville, Calif., Beta
3. Kyle Redmond, Lake Hughes, Calif., Hussqvarna
4. Geoff Aaron, Bailey, Colo., Honda
5. Mike Brown, Bluff City, Tenn., KTM
6. JUSTIN SOULE, VICTORVILLE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI
7. Cory Graffunder, Vavenby, B.C., Husqvarna
8. TAYLOR ROBERT, SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI
9. Max Gerston, Scottsdale, Ariz., Beta
10. Kevin Rookstool, Klamfath Falls, Ore., Honda
11. COLTON HAAKER, GILROY, CALIF., KAWASAKI
12. Jamie Lanza, Calimesa, Calif., Honda

EX Pro Points Standings
1. Taddy Blazusiak, Poland, KTM, 249
2. Cody Webb, Watsonville, Calif., Honda, 179
3. TAYLOR ROBERT, SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 154
4. Mike Brown, Bluff City, Tenn., KTM, 151
5. Cory Graffunder, Vanvenby, BC, Canada, Husquavarna, 133
6. JUSTIN SOULE, VICTORVILLE, CALIF., MONSTER ENERGY KAWASAKI, 125
7. Kyle Redmond, Lake Hughes, Calif., Husquavarna, 123
8. COLTON HAAKER, GILROY, CALIF., KAWASAKI, 123
9. Geoff Aaron, Bailey, Colo., Honda, 111
10. Kevin Rookstool, Klamfath Falls, Oregon, Honda, 92

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